10 Steps to Perfect Skin

One can’t live in Korea and acclimate to the culture without joining in on the 10-Step Skincare process. Last year, I read Charlotte Cho from Soko Glam’s 10-Step recommendations in ELLE, and I’ve been a 10 Stepper ever since!

I totally realize 10 steps seems overwhelming at first. But after a month or so, it just becomes your normal routine. My skin used to be plagued with constant redness and bumps, but that’s all over after sticking to this routine for a year. I no longer have the red cheeks leftover from high school acne and constantly receive compliments on my “glow.” The Koreans are way ahead of the curve when it comes to skincare and after living in Korea, I understand how important it is to “baby” your face!


Step 1. Cleansing:

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water ($28)

I start with Dr. Jart’s Micro Water to remove the day’s makeup. While this is a Korean product, there is no need to stick to 100% Korean products in your 10-step routine. If you’re familiar with micellar water, it’s a lot like that- you just pour a little on a cotton pad and swipe off your makeup. You can even use this Micro Water to remove mascara! This product isn’t oily so it doesn’t irritate my eyes like some other makeup removers.


Step 2. Cleanse Again:

Obagi Clenziderm Foaming Cleanser ($30)

To get the double cleanse, I can’t substitute my face wash because I’ve been using it for years to keep my oily face tamed and breakouts away so I use what works for me, Clenziderm Foaming Cleanser. My dermatologist recommended this to me and it contains 2% Salicylic Acid. I haven’t had any major breakouts or bumps in years. It’s pricey but it works. It can be drying but I recommend using it once a day!


Step 3. Exfoliate:

Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask Scrub ($8)

Once  or twice a week I exfoliate to scrub off the dead skin. It is important to only do this a few times a week because every night is not good for your skin. I stick with Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask Scrub which we raved about here.


Step 4. Toner:

TonlyMoly Nutra Energy Toner ($19)

After my face is clean and ready to go, I start the layering process. To tone, I use Tony Moly’s Nutra Energy Toner. I dab this toner on with a cotton pad. This type of toner doesn’t strip your skin like most toners, especially those with a ton of alcohol in them. Instead, this grabs any leftover makeup and grime from previous steps and preps the skin for what’s to come.


Step 5. Essence:

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence ($28)

If you’re unfamiliar with essence, so was I. It’s said to enhance the skin’s cellular renewal process, and it’s noted as the most important part of the skincare process. I pour a little into my hands and rub my hands together and then lightly press the essence into my skin.


Step 6. Ampoule:

Missha’s Time Revolution Night Repair Activator Ampoule ($25)

An ampoule provides your skin with the extra nutrients and moisture it needs. This ampoule energizes, repairs and restores elasticity. I drop a couple drops of Missha’s Night Ampoule onto my pointer finger and lightly moisturize the Ampoule onto my skin. This Ampoule is pricey even at the Korean price but one to two drops a night goes a long way. This little bottle can last a long long time!


Step 7. Face Masks

This part of the routine only needs to happen a few days a week. You can choose a classic face mask or a sheet mask that fits your needs of the night. I like these sheet masks by Leaders, but as you may know, there are masks out there for literally any skin need!


Step 8. Eye Cream:

Mizon Snail Eye Cream ($12)

Eye Cream keeps fine lines away, decreases puffiness and helps dark circles. I use my pinky finger to lightly dab Mizon Snail Eye Cream around my eyes. It’s best to use your pinky finger because the area below your eyes is the most delicate and fine lines can appear with too much tugging and pressure. In the past I’ve used Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream which also worked well to get rid of the dark under eye circles.


Step 9. Emulsion:

Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen Emulsion ($14)

Emulsion is another word for moisturizer in Korean terms. After dabbing on the eye cream, I use Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen Emulsion to moisturize. I love the fresh scent, the light consistency and cool feeling as I apply. This leaves my skin soft and with the right amount of moisture!


Step 10. Sleeping Mask:

TonyMoly Golden Mushroom Sleeping Mask ($11)

The last and final touch is the TonyMoly Golden Mushroom Sleeping Mask. This sleeping mask is a heavier cream and leaves my skin super moisturized in the morning. I slather on the sleeping mask and use my fingers to massage it in. This step is the final layer of the process. It finalizes the process by allowing the other layers to seep into the skin.

Bonus Step! I’ve recently added the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask to my routine because lips need some lovin’ too!

I know right now you’re probably like, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” But, when it comes to taking care of your face, I promise the 10 steps are worth it. Just put on some Netflix and take the time to care for yourself! Your skin will thank you.